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close up of lentil shepherd's pie recipe in cast iron skillet with a scoop in a spoon

Vegetarian Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


This Vegetarian Lentil Shepherd’s Pie recipe is a cozy comfort food dinner with delicious rich flavor of a traditional cottage pie but stars lentils instead of meat! It is both lower in fat and calories than regular shepherd’s pie and we have added in a variety of hearty veggies including mushrooms, butternut squash and Swiss chard to make it nutritious yet filling! Even meat eaters will be fully satisfied!


  • 1 ½ pounds organic thin-skinned “waxy” potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup non-fat buttermilk, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large, sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, or smoked paprika, plus more for garnish
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 2 15-ounce cans lentils, drained and rinsed (or 3 c cooked lentils)
  • 1 packed cup finely chopped Swiss chard leaves or Spinach
  • 1 large Roma tomato, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • ½ cup water or vegetable broth


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  2. Place potatoes in a large saucepan. Cover generously with cold water. Add ½ teaspoon salt. Place saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer and continue cooking until the potatoes are fork tender, 15 to 19 minutes.
  3. Drain potatoes and return them to the saucepan. Add butter and mash the potatoes roughly with a potato masher. Add ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ cup buttermilk and white pepper and continue mashing. Gradually add more buttermilk as you mash to achieve desired consistency. 
  4. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, squash, mushrooms, oregano, salt, 1 teaspoon paprika and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms release their juices and the moisture has evaporated, and the vegetables start to brown, 6 to 10 minutes.
  5. Add lentils, Swiss chard, tomatoes and broth, cover and reduce heat to a simmer (medium-low.) Cook until the squash is tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  6. Spread the mashed potatoes over the lentil mixture. Sprinkle with paprika.
  7. Bake until the lentil mixture is bubbling, and the potatoes are browned, 20 to 30 minutes. Broil until lightly browned if desired. Cool 10 minutes before serving.


  • To Make Ahead: Can be prepared through step 6 up to 2 days in advance. Store covered with aluminum foil in the refrigerator.
  • Storing Leftovers: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 
  • Prep Time: 25 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 Minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stove Top/Oven
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
  • Calories: 368
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Carbohydrates: 48 g
  • Fiber: 15 g
  • Protein: 14 g

Keywords: Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie, Lentil Shepherd’s Pie, Lentil Cottage Pie, vegetarian cottage pie, lentil shepherd’s pie recipe

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